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Pasta, Pasta

September 05, 1996

As president of the National Pasta Assn., I wanted to respond to the article titled "Case of Pasta Overload Has Everybody Boiling" (Aug. 8). The conclusions of the International Trade Commission in the pasta imports cases were reached after a lengthy investigation and were based on a great deal of evidence.

Among this evidence were independent pasta taste tests from Consumer Reports, the gourmet cooking publication Cook's Illustrated and the Washington Post. In each case, U.S. pasta either was found superior to Italian imports or the judges were unable to discern a difference between them. In addition, the evidence presented to the ITC included scientific consumer testing and surveys.

American-produced pasta is among the best in the world. American pasta manufacturers use the same raw material, manufacturing equipment and technology as do Italian producers. Why should U.S. workers lose their jobs because of unfairly traded imports?



National Pasta Assn.

There is a big difference in the quality of pasta! We hate to buy the "imported" pasta and pay the much higher price. However, the American brands you mentioned (American Beauty, Creamette, Prince, La Rosa, San Giorgio, Ronzoni, etc.) are all terrible, in our opinion. For some reason, they have a much more "paste-like" texture and are clearly not as good. To us, the imported pastas seem worth the higher prices. The dumping charge sounds preposterous; I don't blame the Italians for being mad--the American pasta industry caught them in a bureaucratic trap. I'd suggest that our Commerce Department give the Italians another chance--but a fair one this time. In addition, the Commerce Department could do the American pasta industry a big favor if they'd just get them to take the little bit of effort required to bring their product up to the quality level of the Italian pasta; then this problem would probably go away.



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